Counting the costs of events - An open laptop next to a calculator

This Halloween we don’t need to worry about witches or ghosts, but the rising costs of operations will certainly attract nervous glances.  

The entire events industry finds itself at the centre of hikes and wider inflationary pressures out of our control. These represent the biggest transformational forces encountered by the sector in living memory.

These transformational forces include:

  • Energy and fuel: including wholesale gas, oil, and petrol costs which have been pushed up by growing demand and low storage stocks – prices that impact many event-related activities, from heating venues to transporting items
  • Materials: where shortages and bottlenecks caused by Brexit, a lack of drivers (estimated at close to 100,000) and other factors are driving up the prices of core event items ranging from timber and steel to paints and electrical components
  • Trade barriers: customs charges have added over £600million in price to the UK’s annual imports, with many suppliers being forced to pass these costs onto their clients
  • Skilled labour: 59% of firms report that it’s “much harder” to recruit new employees compared to pre-Covid levels, and the events sector is no different, as a significant part of our workforce has either returned to Europe or quit the industry
  • Travel restrictions: while business travel fell 12% in 2020 and 26% in 2021, prices are expected to rise 48.5% in 2022. At the same time, hotel prices are expected to rise 18.5% this year as well – which makes international event attendance as costly for organisers as it is for delegates

We aren’t going to wait for this to blow over of course, we are much more comfortable taking a proactive stance. We like to offer our clients choice, options for where they could save money without compromising quality. We had a chat with head of productions, Ben Smith, about how we can keep the price-hike-ghouls away this Halloween.

Making use of local suppliers of products and services

The tendency for many event organisers is to stick with the same delivery resources, even if that means sending them to different locations around the world. But with an extensive global partner network, Identity can clearly demonstrate the cost savings associated with ‘going local’.

Consider hiring over  building bespoke or purchasing

Hiring catalogues have improved drastically over the years with a variety of options and price points to choose from so might be time to revisit hiring options

Avoid over-specification

Achieving the ‘wow factor’ at an event doesn’t always require end-to-end innovationFully Interrogating a clients brief and understanding their priorities and objectives for an event is still absolutely key in delivering best value.

Seek out economies of scale

By working with a global live events agency like Identity, you’ll have access to the biggest suppliers and the most comprehensive range of products and costs, as well as the potential for discounted pricing.

Avoid ‘one-stop shop’ suppliers

Engaging with a supplier who can take care of everything from flooring to lighting can offer convenience, but it’s not as cost effective as driving value from individual suppliers. Identity has great experience in managing this process and can do so with ease.

Design for re-use

There’s an obvious and long-term value to designing equipment for multiple re-use, thereby justifying the initial investment. As an example, a client wanted totem stands to display partner assets and we designed to be re-used so they’re now being put to work in multiple scenarios.

It’s unsurprising that the live events sector faces significant cost pressures. At Identity, we’re engaging with clients to find more cost-effective options that don’t compromise either quality or audience impact. We will continue to be a safe pair of hands, even during spooky season!

To explore how Identity can combine experience and innovation to help your event spend go further, simply get in touch.